Purpose To present a new technique for concurrent MR elastography (MRE) and diffusion MRI: diffusion-MRE (dMRE). Methods In dMRE, shear wave motion and MR signal decay due to diffusion are encoded into the phase and magnitude components of the MR signal by using a pair of bipolar gradients for both motion-sensitization and diffusion encoding. The pulse sequence timing is adjusted so that the bipolar gradients are sensitive to both coherent and incoherent intravoxel motions. The shape, number, and duration of the gradient lobes can be adjusted to provide flexibility and encoding efficiency. In this proof-of-concept study, dMRE was validated using a tissue phantom composed of a gel bead embedded in a hydrated mixture of agarose and gelatin. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and shear stiffness measured using dMRE were compared with results obtained from separate, conventional spin-echo (SE) diffusion and SE-MRE acquisitions. Results The averaged ADC values (n=3) for selected ROIs in the beads were (1.75±0.16) μm2/ms and (1.74±0.16) μm2/ms for SE-diffusion and dMRE methods, respectively. The corresponding shear stiffness values in the beads were (2.45±0.23) kPa and (2.42±0.20) kPa. Conclusion Simultaneous MRE and diffusion acquisition is feasible and can be implemented with no observable interference between the two methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging